For a while i have been searching for a good design that no only keeps the plant watered but can also regulate the amount of water the plants would be receiving. This however did not turn out so great, either the plant was watered without limit using physics or it was watered with a sloppy mechanic that could potentially make a mess! This is why I decided to design a planter that fixed both of those problems, and i did.
My self watering planter has all these features:
- Soil moisture sensor that shows the moisture present on the planter
- LED lights that not only make the planter look extra fabulous but also can potentially accelerate growth
- Water pump and pumps water into the soil when needed
- Temperature sensor that also reads the humidity in the room
- 0.95 inch OLED display where all that data can be read from
The end product looked way better than I expected after I 3D printed it and this is why i'm making this instructable, to share with the community a cute and easy project you would potentially do too!
Step 1: Materials and Tools
- Soldering equipment - You don't really need one but I soldered some wires to fit my desired length
- 3D printer - My 3-D printer is this one, good overall beginner 3-D printer
- Computer - For programming
- Arduino IDE
- These arduino libraries
- Arduino UNO - Most arduinos will do but my planter is designed for the UNO
- Hatchbox PLA filament - You can use ABS but PLA has a shinny and pretty look
- A water pump - I recommend this one
- TIP120 Power Darlington Transistors
- N1 Diode
- 3mm inner diameter Tubing - This is what will water the plant in itself
- 0.95in OLED Display
- Soil humidity sensors - Buy more than one cause corrosion is a thing, sadly
- DHT11 sensor - I ended up buying two cause last time i bought one and accidentally shorted it...
- LED strip - I used this one, be warned, its a pain since its soft and flimsy!
- A wall power source, i recommend 12v and 1amps and then using a voltage converter to convert into 9v
Step 2: My Design + Files
For my design i went for a cute and contained box, simple and sweet. I love any cubic shape and anything that has square and sharp edges. I took the time to make a folder that contains all the STL files for the project. (I designed and made everything but the arduino case, download that from the original source)
Step 3: Putting Everything Together
Before you start printing the files i recommend 30% filling on your desired splicer, i use Cura.
Ok now i'm going to suppose you already have all the parts and all the files printed, most of the building is already explained in the images above except one thing, how is it going to be watered? Well this is both easy and a bit weird so let me explain it in steps:
- First grab the tube and connect it to the upper tube in the pump
- Then pass it through a little hole in the side of the cube
- Position it so it can get to the middle of the cube and make a full rotation around the area
- Cut the excess
- Grab the measured tube and poke holes into the length of the tube that goes inside the planter (i used a soldering iron to melt holes into it)
- Try to find a way to plug the end of the tube that is not connected (i used hot glue)
Now, the way this will work is when the pump is activated, water will go into the modified tube, since the end its plugged it will look for a way to leave and go through the small holes we poked through it.
Now fill half of the cube with soil place the tube and bury it with more soil until the desired height.
Step 4: The Code + My Arduino Sketch
Here's a file that contains my code plus some test sketches to test if the individual modules work accordingly.
Step 5: Done!
Congrats, its working like a charm! Well.... at least it is for me... Anyways thanks for reading and consider sharing this instructable cause the more attention the get the more ill be motivated to finish the next version, next one might contain a raspberry pi instead of arduino and have other extra goodies ;)